‘Litchenstein’ in the Kitchen

By

They didn’t want any natural materials,” designers Francine Monaco and Carl D’Aquino, of D’Aquino Monaco, say almost in unison, describing their clients’ vision for the space, a combination of two apartments (that had previously been six) on Central Park South originally outfitted with faux-prewar details. “It wasn’t that they had an aversion to wood or marble,” D’Aquino explains. “It was more about pushing us to find new, creative ways to heighten the visual experience of traveling through the space.” The building, a hotel turned condo, had a great location overlooking the park, but the apartment’s layout didn’t take advantage of those views. The team set out to fix this, but when the walls came down, they discovered structural details that couldn’t change, including columns and beams. Now, after a year’s work of reinvention, the park is visible immediately upon entering the apartment, as is a column that looks like a polished jewel, sheathed in a mirror that reflects the natural light.

The pièce de résistance, in the living-dining area, is a Lichtenstein-esque mural that wraps around a service area. The owners loved the Pop artist’s Drowning Girl, so, D’Aquino says, “we thought, Why don’t we come up with an idea that would appropriate that painting in a way that would be unique to the apartment? So we left the Pop graphics, but we took out the color.” The color palette throughout the space — soft pearl gray — was chosen to enhance the artwork displayed in the rooms and gallery. The floors of poured urethane match the walls — which become ever so slightly iridescent in the master suite, thanks to decorative painter Jonathan Kutzin, who mixed eye shadow with paint to produce this shimmering effect. While the goal was to highlight the clients’ impressive art collection, Monaco says she didn’t want to “create a typical white-box Chelsea-gallery aesthetic.” D’Aquino adds, “We wanted something warmer. I mean, it is not a minimalist gallery; it is a family home.”

The foyer: The LED bench is by Ingo Maurer from DDC. The wall art of digital clocks, Qlocktwo, is also from DDC. And the decorative Allure mirror is by Gallotti & Radice from M2L. Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson/New York Magazine
The open living room/dining room/kitchen: The main event here is the spectacular wraparound mural painted by Jonathan Kutzin in the style of the client’s favorite Lichtenstein painting, Drowning Girl. Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson/New York Magazine
The “Lichtenstein”: A close-up of the mural-wrapped cabinet. Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson/New York Magazine
The living room: The hammock is designed by Jim Zivic for Ralph Pucci, the custom light fixture is by Mary Wallis for Lindsay Adelman, and the carpet is from Tai Ping to D’Aquino Monaco’s design. The painted sliding door to the guest suite is by Jonathan Kutzin. Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson/New York Magazine
Looking into the living room from the guest suite. Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson/New York Magazine
Gallery hallway: “We created a sculptural wall that defines the vestibule to the kids’ bedrooms,” Monaco says. Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson/New York Magazine
Doors to the master suite: The custom resin door panels by Karen Atta of Atta Inc. are mounted on a metal frame. The sofa is by the Campana Brothers for Edra at DDC. Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson/New York Magazine
The sitting room. Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson/New York Magazine
Master bedroom: The custom bed is by Lanin Design, and the iridescent wall finishes in both the bedroom and sitting room are by Jonathan Kutzin. The pair of stools at the foot of the bed are from Bernd Goeckler. Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson/New York Magazine
The master bath: Karen Atta designed the resin sink that looks like it’s made from large pieces of crystal. Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson/New York Magazine
The master closet: The custom closet includes a glass-topped storage island. Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson/New York Magazine
Guest bath: The custom-designed resin sink by Karen Atta looks like pieces of amber. The wall tiles are from Sicis North America. Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson/New York Magazine

*A version of this article appears in the April 16, 2018, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!

A Central Park Apartment That’s Equal Parts Gallery and Home